Maria Riesch regains overall lead by 3 points over Lindsey Vonn

Posted By: The Ski Channel on March 18, 2011 6:45 am

Tina Maze may have won the slalom in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, but the big story is that Maria Riesch gained 50 points for a 4th place finish and regained the overall World Cup lead over her friend, Lindsey Vonn by 3 points.  Lindsey had a strong showing, finishing 13th to earn 20 points.  Maria has the edge statistically in the giant slalom, but Lindsey has been posting better and better results so whoever can put the pressure aside and put down a better result will be the overall Champion in one of the closest title hunts ever.  Lindsey trailed Maria by over 200 points at the end of February.”I definitely feel like the field is getting stronger and stronger and it’s getting harder and harder to stay ahead of them, especially in downhill and super G. Maria [Riesch] has stepped up and has skied incredibly well this year in both downhill and super G. It’s definitely been hard to stay ahead of her.”

Photo:(Getty Images/AFP-Dimitar Dilkoff)

“I think at the end now no matter what happens I will be happy with the season. I’ve worked hard and I’ve done the best I could. I’m in the fight. Obviously if we don’t race tomorrow, we’ll be very disappointed to lose the overall by three points. There was a lot of man power out there on the course working extremely hard. I’m really thankful for them and hopefully they will work just as hard tomorrow.”

“Yesterday’s cancelation was kind of a weird way to the end season in super G. It was obviously really nice to get the globe today and also the super combined globe. To be up on the podium with Ted [Ligety] and Julia [Mancuso] was really cool. I think we had a really strong team this year and you can see that in how many top three results in the discipline standings we’ve had.”

“It’s been a good season so far and I’m really happy with all of my results. I especially think the end of the season is getting better and better in giant slalom and slalom. Today wasn’t exactly the result I was hoping for but it was still points and kept me in the hunt. I’m only three points behind now. I really hope we race tomorrow and I’m going to give it m best shot.”

“In the beginning of my career I never thought I’d have so many titles. I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve so far in my career. But I still have a lot more goals for the future. I’m going to ski for quite a few more years still. I’m just going to try to keep building on what I accomplished – try to win races every year, try to continue to win titles and we’ll see where it takes me.”

Tina Maze won in a combined two-run time of 1 minute, 29.33 seconds. World Cup slalom champion Marlies Schild of Austria was second, 0.05 seconds behind, and Veronika Zuzulova of Slovakia was third.

It all comes down to the final race of the season, a giant slalom on Saturday.  Fitting that these two women battle it out for the championship.  Vonn has won three straight overall World Cup titles, Riesch was second the past two seasons and third in 2008.  Vonn was an Olympic gold and bronze medal winner in 2010 and Riesch won two golds in those same Olympics.